Advice issued ahead of severe weather

Published Monday, 26th February 2018

winter, weather, advice

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is making preparations for severe snowfall expected in the Borough this week.

With heavy snowfall expected this evening and tomorrow – and further adverse weather possibly continuing through the week – the Council is issuing the following advice and information to help insure the safety of the Borough’s residents.

Rest Centre for Borough’s homeless

The Council will be opening up a Rest Centre for homeless people at the Tickfield Centre on Tickfield Avenue, starting tonight (26 February) until the end of the week, to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the town’s rough-sleepers.

This will be managed by the Council’s housing team and be supported by volunteers, both from the Council and the local community, in partnership with South Essex Homes. It follows a rise in numbers of homeless people attending the Church Night Centres in recent days.

The Tickfield Rest Centre will open on 26th February and operate until 2nd March, (or otherwise as needed), between the hours of 7.15 pm and 7.30 am.

Referrals to the service will be made via Harp, who can be contacted on 01702 430696.

Roads and pavements

Gritters have been out this afternoon and will continue through evening to ensure ample distribution of grit and salt on the Borough’s main thoroughfares, though motorists are advised to only make essential journeys. We have also gritted some lower-priority routes in advance, and those on tomorrow’s waste collection rounds in order to minimise potential disruption.

The Council will continue to closely monitor weather forecasts and send out gritters as appropriate for the remainder of the week. The Borough’s salt store is well stocked with approximately 1,000 tonnes of grit-salt which will see us through the cold spell and beyond.

Residents are also asked to keep an eye on the levels of salt-grit in their local salt bins and report if levels are low at http://www.southend.gov.uk/reportit.

Quad bikes with snow ploughs and trailers will be used to distribute salt and grit to high-footfall areas such as shopping precincts and the High Street. 

Transport

c2c have announced alterations to their services today and tomorrow. 

Tonight: c2c are running an altered timetable from 21.00, with services finishing significantly earlier than normal. Details and the amended timetable are available here: https://www.c2c-online.co.uk/travelling-with-us/service-alterations/alteration/?id=1780&type=0&calendar=2

Tomorrow: c2c are running a limited timetable all day and are advising customers not to travel. Details and the amended timetable are available here: https://www.c2c-online.co.uk/travelling-with-us/service-alterations/alteration/?id=1781&type=0&calendar=1

Later this week: Further service changes are likely unless the predicted weather conditions change. Once decisions are made regarding each day's service, all information will be available at https://www.c2c-online.co.uk/

Customers who are unable to travel will be able to claim their compensation via: https://www.c2c-online.co.uk/help-and-contact/delay-repay/

Greater Abellio have announced restricted services between London and Southend on Monday and Tuesday. Customers are advised to check www.greateranglia.co.uk for updates.

Bus services are also likely to be affected so travellers are advised to check on services with the relevant transport operator before travelling.

School closures

Many local schools are expected to close in the event of severe weather. The Council will endeavour to collate information about which schools are closed on www.southend.gov.uk/schoolclosures and updates will also be tweeted from @SouthendBC. However, each school is responsible for communicating closures to the parents / guardians of their pupils, so please check with your child’s school in the first instance.

Waste collections

The Council’s waste and cleansing operator, Veolia, is currently planning to continue their waste collections on their usual days this week. However, they advise that severe snowfall is may result in waste collection rounds taking longer than usual or having to be suspended entirely. Residents are asked to present their recycling and waste within their property’s boundary on their usual collection day. If it is not collected by 6pm, we ask residents re-present their waste the following week.

Residents are advised to follow @SouthendBC on Twitter and @SouthendBCOfficial on Facebook for further updates.

Cllr Ann Holland, Deputy Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “We are taking the severe weather warnings from the Met Office very seriously and taking measures to ensure the safety of our local residents. While we will try to ensure business as usual, very heavy snowfall is extremely likely to impact some of our services.

“The main advice is to stay indoors unless it is essential for you to leave the house. This is particularly important if you are elderly or vulnerable, in order to prevent trips and falls which put strain on our hospitals.

“I ask local people to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, only travel where absolutely necessary and to please be aware that some council services may be impacted.

“If you see a homeless person sleeping rough, you can put them in contact with HARP to ensure they have somewhere warm and dry to sleep overnight. 

“Please also be aware that there is likely to be extra demand on emergency services, so please only dial 999 in an emergency. Non-emergency calls to the Police can be made to 101, while non-emergency medical advice can be given by calling 111.

“We will continue to monitor the weather over the coming days and will, if necessary, put in place our well-rehearsed emergency plans with our partners in the emergency services and local community organisations.”